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Salman’s trade grades: Rockets complete salary-oriented deal with Thunder
Silent, but savvy
It’s safe to assume most Rockets fans will never hear about this trade. Among the ones that do, few will care.
But it’s small deals like this that can add up to bigger and better things down the line. They also paint the picture of a competent front office that’s trying to chase every marginal advantage.
In summary, Houston did the following:
Took $7 million in salary towards their books
Got a 2nd round pick in exchange for that favor
Picked up a potentially attractive asset in the expiring contract of Derrick Favors
Sure, it’s only a second round pick. But you can never have enough cheap scratch off tickets. At the end of the day, it’s an asset that will go towards their war chest.
Favors also has $10.2 million in expiring money that could potentially be attractive on the trade market. Additionally, Houston now has an extra $5 million in salary that they can combine with Eric Gordon’s contract to acquire up to $30 million in a single trade if they wanted to.
They just have much more versatility to construct deals than they did before this trade.
And to bring it full circle if you’re keeping track at home, Houston essentially traded:
2022 1st round pick (TyTy Washington)
Three 2nd round picks
That’s some shrewd dealmaking by Rockets GM Rafael Stone.
Also, perhaps it’s time people give owner Tilman Fertitta a break about his spending? Fertitta’s now bought a 2nd round pick in four out of his five years of ownership. This should probably mean something considering the cost of these picks are going up by the day.
It’s just a thought. Historically, once an NBA owner is branded “cheap”, the label tends to stick.
Nonetheless, this was a nice little move by the Rockets.
Side note: Credit to these two organizations for continuing to trade with each other despite the often one-sided deals. That’s professionalism.
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